More than 50 distinguished local and national authors whose works are featured in libraries and classrooms across the country will speak at the third annual UCF Book Festival on Saturday, March 31.

The festival is open to the public and will be held at the UCF Arena from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking will be free.

The festival is hosted by UCF’s College of Education, in association with UCF’s Morgridge International Reading Center.  Visitors are invited to meet with the authors to learn more about their creative process and how they bring their characters to life.

James McBride, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Color of Water,” will be the event’s keynote author. Other authors scheduled to appear include former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and former state prosecutor Jeff Ashton.

Throughout the day guests can attend author forums, listen to readings, attend book signings and receive book appraisals. There are activities planned for all ages, with special events for teens and children.

Local authors scheduled to participate include former Orlando Sentinel columnist Bob Morris and Loreen Leedy, a children’s author who has written and illustrated more than 40 books.

UCF faculty participating in the festival include Sheryl Needle Cohn of the College of Education, James C. Clark of the History Department, and Russ Kesler and Darlin’ Neal of the English Department.